Architect David Gillooley wants to float a £300m replica of the Titanic on the Mersey.

Raising the Titanic may be beyond the means of Merseyside architect David Gillooley, so he is proposing the next best thing: creating a £300m replica of the ill-fated ocean liner at Birkenhead.

Despite the fact that the 45,000 tonne liner was built in Belfast, rather than in the Liverpool docks, Gillooley is determined to make his full-sized replica an icon for the city, replacing the defunct Fourth Grace project. He hopes a combination of lottery and private funding will see his idea take float.

Optimists say that as it would be moored near the Pier Head, the project does not need planning permission, and could be complete in time for 2008, when Liverpool is Capital of Culture. Pessimists predict that like its namesake, it will sink without trace.